Total Divas season three kicks off on January 4. There's some marital issues this season…
I never really thought I had marriage problems, I thought I had a perfect relationship with TJ, then I started doing Total Divas and I realised, wait a minute, my relationship's not perfect at all. I watched the show back and it's been very therapeutic for me. My mum watched it, and TJ's mum watched it and she was like, 'I don't like this, I don't like the D-word.' Nobody, including us, knew how bad our relationship was until we did the show, filmed it and watched it back. It's been very therapeutic for me to do it and address it.
How real is this, though? Is it just scripted?
I'm glad you asked that question. There was some speculation from people, and I took it as a compliment because people didn't really want to think TJ and I had problems because they liked us as a couple. Some people were saying, 'Oh, it's all fake, Nattie and TJ aren't fighting.' I thought it was touching. I wish that was the case, you don't realise how real things are until you go through it.
I realised doing the show we're really disconnected. I've known him for 17 years. Our relationship started going up in flames and it was hard to watch it and experience it in front of the entire world, and have people go, 'Oh, it's not real' and have my mum say, 'I know you're crying over something, those are tears are real, I know my daughter.' I'm still working through it with TJ.
Some fans were critical of Charlotte losing to you in such a short amount of time on Raw recently…
We don't control a lot of things in WWE, it's live TV, you can't control how long you're going to get. Sometimes you're going to get 20 minutes and sometimes you're going to get 20 seconds, you just have to maximise those minutes and do the best you can.
I'm happy we got a couple of minutes to showcase something - it's better than nothing. Would I loved to have had the same kind of match we had at Takeover on Raw? Yes. But I don't control that. It was a way for Takeover to be promoted a little bit. They'd done that with the pay per view prior to this.
In a perfect world, I'd take 25 minutes with Charlotte, but it turned out to be two and guess what? Because I beat Charlotte in two minutes, it's only meaningful we'd have a rematch - and we better have a rematch because I plan on evening out the odds and beating her and taking her championship from her!
It seems the NXT Divas get a lot more ring time than the main roster Divas on Raw and SmackDown. Why do you think there's such a disparity?
That's why I go to NXT, any chance I get, I go to NXT. I want to be on Raw, I want to be on SmackDown, and NXT, and Total Divas, and Main Event, and Superstars, and I want to be on the WWE app - because I want to take any moment I can to get TV time and I want to tell stories.
The girls and the guys in NXT are extremely fortunate because Triple H has taken NXT under his wing. I tell Triple H this, I look around the room and make sure no one's looking, and I tell him it's my favourite show. It's my favourite show because the Superstars and Divas do get time and it's a cool show because you get to watch these different characters grow and come to life.
With that said, who am I to complain? As far as grabbing brass rings, and there's been a lot of talk of brass rings lately in WWE, Total Divas, when you look back to the original cast, the things we've done to elevate the Divas division and bring light and attention to the Divas division … who am I to complain? I'm on a hit show every week, one hour a week, that plays over and over again all over the world. Take advantage where you can get it. The Total Divas grabbed the brass ring and made people pay attention to the women in WWE.
It's interesting you bring that up. What did you think of Vince McMahon's recent comments?
When Vince McMahon made that brass ring comment, I think it was cool, it got everyone talking. It allowed us to analyse and say, this is what's good, this isn't working, maybe I'll speak up, maybe I'll be more aggressive.
But when I stop to look at it, I don't think Vince McMahon meant every single solitary person that's in the WWE right now. I think he meant that several people can grab the brass ring harder and I think when we look at Total Divas - I've done 40 episodes, I've put my life out there in ways I don't think is even normal, and I've been willing to do this to help not only elevate the Divas division but show a human side to what we do. What we do in the ring is such a small part, we do so much - we work with different charities, we have anti-bullying campaigns, we work with sick kids.
For us girls, for the original cast members and the new cast members, for us to put our lives out there on blast for everybody, if that's not grabbing the brass ring I don't know what is. I don't think just anybody could do a reality show and put their life out there and have no qualms about going, hey, I'm sharing something with you guys I've never shared with anybody and I'm doing it in front of the entire world. That, to me, is grabbing the brass ring.